There’s some kind of monster picking off tourists on Santa Catalina Island. It put Bobby’s friend Rufus in the hospital. He described it as cross between a bear and a crab, with big-ass teeth and a hard shell that ricocheted away the rounds from his rifle.
Dean figures they need some steel-cored penetrative ammunition, the kind normally restricted to military and law enforcement. Luckily, they’re just a phone call away from somebody Dean knows who can get them a few boxes of ammo for the shotgun and .45.
They meet Jake in back of some strip club on the outskirts of L.A. He’s short, and older then Sam had expected, with a bushy grey beard and a beer belly. The faded eagle tattoo on his bicep declares him USMC, and the patches on his denim jacket make him a member of a biker gang. But it isn’t until the guy pulls the tarp off the bed of a beat-up red pick-up to display his inventory of machine guns, grenade launchers and flame throwers that Sam realizes they’re buying ammunition from an actual arms dealer. Dean’s making appreciative noises. Sam jerks his head towards the bar, and Dean nods with a smirk.
The bar’s cool, dim interior is a relief after the blinding brilliance of Southern California's noon-day sun. ‘Cherry Pie’ is blasting on the crackly speakers. He pays a five dollar cover charge to the bouncer at the door. A girl (woman, Jess’s voice corrects him) with long black hair, double-D breasts, and a star-spangled bikini is apathetically gyrating her hips for a group of grey-suited Japanese businessmen.
Sam slides onto a stool at the bar while watching the ‘show’ and calls out an order for a PBR.
“Here you go,” the bartender says in a pleasant alto, placing it next to his hand. Sam nods, not able to tear his eyes away as the stripper tries, and fails, to twirl a golden lasso. Is she meant to be Wonder Woman? Really?
“So, you a friend of Old Jake’s?” the blonde bartender asks, and there’s something familiar about that voice.
Sam turns and sees Meg.
Meg Masters. The witch that tied them up and almost fed them to shadow demons in Chicago. He jumps the bar, sees her reach for what must be a weapon, and slams her up against the wall.
“Did you seriously think that I wouldn’t recognize you?” Sam growls at her.
Just for a second, he sees her flinch before her face goes furious. “Look, man, I don’t know –”
“After what you did to me? To Dean?”
“I don’t know what you’re on,” she snarls, “but whatever it is, it’s making you paranoid. I don’t know who the fuck you are!”
Sam tenses at the click of a gun’s safety a few feet behind him.
“Get away from her,” someone orders calmly. The bouncer at the door. Shit.
Sam holds his hands up and backs away down the bar, where he can keep an eye on them, and the rest of the bar. Surreally, neither the stripper nor the businessmen drooling over her seem to have noticed a thing. “Sorry, man, she’s an old girlfriend, stole my car when she took off. I had no idea she was back in town.”
“Jaimie?” the guy asks.
“I swear I never laid eyes on him before,” she answers. “But he sure seems to recognize me, and he mentioned Dean ... I think we’re blown.”
“Crap,” the bouncer says. He’s a big black guy, holding a Glock 21 on Sam in a confident Weaver stance. “Hands up against the wall, feet apart,” he orders.
Sam places his hands up on the wall. Fuck, are these two cops? They could bring him in for assaulting an officer. And that would … that would be bad. But not as bad as if they brought Dean in. Dean had been accused of multiple homicides in St. Louis, and then declared dead. The last thing they need is to get him booked by the LAPD.
“Jaimie, you got him?”
“Yeah,” she says, kicking Sam’s feet further apart and then wrenching his left arm down behind his back.
“Ow,” Sam complains mildly. “Are you cops? Am I under arrest?” Since they haven’t identified themselves as police or informed him of his Miranda rights, Sam figures even a public defender should be able to get him off.
“Shut up,” she mutters, slapping a handcuff into place around his left wrist.
The outside door opens, spilling bright sunlight inside.
The woman turns when Dean yells, “Drop the gun!”
Sam twists, shoving her off balance, grabs her by the throat, and pulls his 9mm out from his waistband. “Hey,” he calls out to the other cop. “Me and my brother are just going to walk out of here, okay? Nobody needs to get hurt.”
The stripper on stage screams. The black cop’s gun wavers from Dean to him.
“Jesus. Fucking. Christ!” the woman in his grip shrieks, and elbows Sam viciously in the gut. He doubles over, managing to pistol-whip her across the side of the head, and then dashes for the door, feeling like he’s about to puke. Dean is staring dead-eyed down the barrel of his gun at the black cop, who looks like he’s quivering with the competing desires to look after his partner bleeding on the floor, and rip their balls off.
“Sorry!” Sam yells on his way out the door.
Ten miles down the highway Sam gets the handcuffs off and tosses them out the window of the baking hot car. Dean finally runs out of swear words. “What the Hell happened in there, Sam?” he says.
“The bartender looked just like Meg Masters. Remember, the witch, from Chicago?”
“The one who took a swan dive out of a fifth story window?”
“Umm. Yeah.” Sam squirmed in his seat. He really should have remembered that Meg was dead. “But this woman really could have been her twin. Only, I think she was some kind of undercover cop.”
“Awesome,” Dean said tiredly. “Well, the good news is that I got the penetration rounds. We can finish this hunt and then avoid L.A. County for the next couple years.”
There were a few minutes of silence. Dean reached for the radio, then paused. “Were the strippers hot, at least?”
“No. Oh! I meant to tell you. The stripper was terrible! She was trying to do this Wonder Woman routine, but she couldn’t actually twirl the lasso, and it kept getting tangled up on her tits, like a …”
Dean laughed, slipped some Zeppelin into the tape deck, and the air conditioning finally kicked in.